When the whole family watches their diet, it’s often easier to adjust the mentality around eating. If no one is eating red meat, for instance, it’s easier for each family member to delight in the true taste of fresh vegetables, the variety of salads and the whole grains and natural spices that were overwhelmed by unhealthy foods and additives previously.

Even dairy products have marvelously healthy and tasty alternatives for the health-conscious family for a full, well-balanced diet.

A vegan diet is well known for its elimination of animal products, which includes both meat and dairy products, but to better grasp its food-based paradigm, consider it not absent of items but one based on plants, not animals.

The structure of human teeth suggests we are naturally a plant-eating species. We don’t have the sharp, pointed teeth of true carnivores that tear and shred. Our incisors help cut plants, but our molars are meant for grinding, not shredding and tearing. A vegetarian diet is basic to our biology; ingesting animal products was a learned behavior.

A plant-based diet—a vegan diet, one filled with grains, vegetables and fruit—can provide every nutrient and mineral the human body needs. The processing of foods often strip canned and processed foods of those nutrients and certainly degrades the terrific flavor foods have.

Things you should remember

Spices and cooking methods enhance those flavors and can add zest to salads, soups and other healthy food alternatives. A vegetable stir-fry prepared in light olive oil, served with wild rice and a natural soy sauce made with sea salt can calm any hunger while letting taste buds dance in delight.

As you transition from a carnivore, meat-based diet to a vegan diet, your system will adjust. Eat several small meals each day to give your body with a ready fuel source periodically. Because meat-based diets are usually calorie-heavy and takes longer to digest, your body will process a vegan diet much more quickly and efficiently. You will need small boosts in fuel sources throughout the day.

Don’t go overboard and have a full vegan meal six or eight times daily, but having set routine of three healthy, vegan meals and a snack mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and perhaps a few hours before bedtime—so long as they are healthy and light—can help your body adjust its metabolism and keep you from reaching for the sugary, fatty snacks most people habitually use as snacks.

Family Tips

  • Your whole family can enjoy the rich and full-flavored vegan diet. You can subtly teach and reinforce healthy eating if you have them help pick healthy foods at the store. Reward their learning with a fruit snack or treat. Naturally sweet fruits are usually a hit with everyone.
  • Have the whole family plan meals, choose dishes and even help prepare them. The more they are involved in the “hunting and gathering” at mealtimes, the more they have invested in it, and a subtle sense of pride and accomplishment can begin to shine through fairly quickly. Those self-induced conditions can reinforce commitment to a healthy diet, and that healthy diet offers measurable improvement in health and overall fitness just as quickly.

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

11 thoughts on “Tips for Introducing a Vegan Diet to the Whole Family

  1. Theresa Whitney says:

    Great tips! Our family has been vegan for about 6 months. So far so good and the hardest part has been finding things my daughter (13) likes. But is going well.

    Keep up the posts.

  2. I think the adjusting metabolism point is important. When you change your diet it’s not just the actual food, but its weight and feel in your system. Just because meat is bad for you doesn’t mean your body doesn’t get used to it. You will probably feel lighter switching from animals to plants, but it might not be comfortable at first.

  3. It can be TOUGH to get kids to eat vegan all the time, especially when they go eat at their friends houses and things like that. I know a lot of families that only serve vegetarian meals in the home, and that is a bit easier to maintain. I don’t think I’ve anyone whose whole family has gone vegan, but if you can do it and your kids like it then that’s awesome!

    • Holly Miller says:

      If you introduce the diet to them when they’re young, they’re more likely to accept it. However, I do agree that when children eat meals at school or at a friend’s house they are likely to stray from their diet.

    • Holly Miller says:

      I agree, better to slowly transition than make a sudden and drastic change in your family’s diet.

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